This year’s Heritage Crafts Association conference at the V&A has the theme “Evolving Craft Communities”
Since you are reading this on the web and presumably have an interest in craft you are part of an online craft community which did not exist 20 years ago. At the same time many of us are also part of other craft communities whether local, regional or national with a particular craft theme. I am quite involved with the Association of pole lathe turners and greenwoodworkers who have a good online forum here but also an annual meeting where we all get together to exchange skills and ideas.
We are live in exciting times as we can exchange and source information freely across the web, how does this change our craft practice and how does it compare to past practices of passing skills? Is it possible to feel connected to other folk we have never met who live in other continents and what sort of meaning does that bring to our lives? How do we make the best use of changes that are happening and new opportunities available to us?
Speakers at the conference will include Professor Richard Sennett, talking about “Making and thinking”. Richard is author of the well-received book The Craftsman, and professor of sociology at New York University and LSE. He popularised the idea that it takes 10,000 hours to master a craft skill, he also talks from personal experience of hand skills having put those hours in training as a cellist.
Lida Kindersley runs the highly successful Cardozo Kindersley Workshop in Cambridge. Lida was trained by David Kindersley who was himself trained by Eric Gill. She wrote a nice book on apprenticeship Her workshop practices solidly “old school” with apprentices learning letter-cutting alongside the team of experienced craftspeople.
Ele Carpenter is a curator, artist and researcher working within the field of visual arts and new media. She will talk about the open source embroidered digital commons
Stuart Mitchell’s apprenticeship in the Sheffield cutlery industry was very traditional. He started at the bottom and worked all hours until eventually even his father took pride in the knives that he built. His workshop, and indeed work ethic, is still steeped in the traditions of Sheffield of old, but things have changed.
And then I will be talking about how I feel to be part of a global online woodworking community but how I still value physical get togethers and particularly working on craft projects together alongside other people whether sharing my knowledge through courses or learning from others.
Here is the full program, you can book here and this year we are offering an £5 early bird discount to save us having the stress of last minute bookings. It will be a great day, hope you can join us.
- 10.15am – Registration in the Lecture Theatre.
- 10.45am – Conference starts. Welcome from Patricia Lovett, Vice-Chair of the HCA.
- 10.55am – Professor Richard Sennett – ‘Making and Thinking’.
- 11.55am – Lida Kindersley, lettercutter in stone – ‘Learning by Doing’
- 1.00pm – HCA Annual General Meeting – all welcome.
- 2.30pm – Afternoon session begins. Patricia Lovett.
- 2.35pm – Presentation of Marsh Awards for trainer and volunteer in Heritage Crafts by Alex Langlands
- 3.00pm - Ele Carpenter, ‘Open Source Embroidery Project – the embroidered digital commons’
- 3.25pm – Robin Wood, wood turner and Chair of the HCA – ‘Bringing Craft out of the Woods’
- 3.50pm – Stuart Mitchell, knifemaker – ‘Web Mester’
- 4.15pm – Closing remarks and HCA updates
- 4.30pm – Conference ends